Barry Harbour c.1956
G-AWDE
Dipping the fuel tank with a Mk.1 finger, easy when you're 6'3". Can you see Daisy in the back?
The Rowland Parsons Web Site
The Rowland Parsons Web Site

My Reminiscences

Run your mouse over the photos for captions then click to enlarge.

Right: This is a detail from a contemporaneous Post Card picturing Tenby Harbour, West Wales. Its photo was taken sometime in the mid-fifties and captured my father’s second motor cruiser ‘ELVINAR’ moored against the pier. The boat’s name is made up from the first names of his four sons. The cruiser anchored to her starboard is ‘CROWN’ which belonged to Mr Arthur Minton, a family friend of the time. We had a long and very pleasant summer holiday on the boats before returning home to Barry and school.

 

Tenby Harbour in the 50's
Swiss cable car, super fun.
School Trip

Right: This photo was taken in the summer of 1959 on the top of a mountain in Switzerland, well actually the plateau of the Jungfraujoch(1). I am second from the right with three school friends, The two people on each end are, I think, teachers. The one I have my arm around, as far as I can remember, was Mr.A.N.S.Ransom the deputy head of school. The second from left is Dave Rendal, my long-time school friend whom I regrettably lost touch with when we moved to West Wales in the late-seventies.

Left and below are a couple of random photos of Switzerland I’ve taken over the years.

 

Nice to be remembered in my old village :-D

This C152 was the one I did my second ‘First Solo’ in, some 25 years after the first!

Right is G-AWDE, the aircraft in which I flew my first solo back in the late sixties. The actual date was 1st April 1969, I remember now that at the time I thought it was an ‘April Fools’ prank when the instructor got out of the aircraft and told me to take it around solo! It all happened in Wales, UK, at Rhoose airfield, now know as Cardiff Wales International Airport. I was sent off on my death-defying flight by the clubs C.F.I. Cliff Hubbard. Everyone who has ever done this will know what I mean when I say that it is a life altering moment. There’s life before your first solo, then after, the rest of your life begins afresh with a completely new attitude of self reliance and a new confidence in knowing you have been in sole control over your own life or death and have cracked it. Not quite “life the universe and everything” but as close as you are ever likely to get this side of Nirvana or, if it all goes wrong, Valhalla. I was a member of the Glamorgan Flying Club at the time and it was in their aircraft that I first flew. I soloed after doing about twelve hours duel mostly with an assistant instructor called Michael Hardy. By today’s standards that’s quite a long time, but in my defence, it was done through the winter and the syllabus was more demanding back then, requiring things like demonstrating to the instructor’s satisfaction that you could recover the aircraft from both left and right hand incipient spins (two of each), before you were allowed to solo.

Some people say that “you should never go back” and mostly they are probably right, but even so, I did revisit the airfield a few years ago. I met up with an almost forgotten friend of the 60’s, named Bob Thursby, a now long retired BA 737 pilot with a passion for hot air ballooning. He accompanied me back to the club at Rhoose, which thankfully was still going strong. We had a cup of tea in their new clubhouse and chatted about the old days. Curiously, we had very different recollections of the various incidents and epics that had happened back in those “good-old-days”. These, assuredly, would never be allowed (or even thought of) in today’s environment of near hysteria over ‘health and safety’ and political correctness. Regrettably, and I feel to everyone's detriment, barnstorming is now permanently off the agenda !!

I didn’t complete my PPL back then, marriage and life intervened. I had to wait another twenty-five years before I finally gained my Private Pilots Licence.

Biggest electric train set ever. The Glasier Express.

One of three linked peaks (with the Eiger and Monch) in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland; 4,166 m/13,669ft high. A railway, passing through a tunnel 8 km/5 miles long, ascends to the plateau of the Jungfraujoch (3,456m/11,340 ft) where there is a winter sports centre.

Note 1

 

My old shop at 85 Main Street, all decked out for Christnas 1968
Left is one of the shops I owned in Barry. I was there for thirteen years, eventually living in the large flat above for about seven years with Olga.
They were good years, with lots to do and plenty of money. At its peak I had three shops plus a lockup shop I used as a stores and workshop for white goods.
Circled above is my father’s first motor cruiser ‘Liberty’, 
photographed in Barry harbour c.1956.
Click for image